I don’t need flowers, candy, cards or a special day to know that I am loved, especially by my son with Aspergers Syndrome. There’s a myth that people with autism can’t show love. But they can. You just have to notice because it won’t be expressed in ways you might expect. It may be subtle but it’s there and it shines brightly when you pay close attention.
During his high school years, my son was on a class trip. We were encouraged to send notes, letters, and cards of encouragement while the he was away. He must have been 14 or 15 at the time. So Aspergers and teenager, his common form of communication was a few grunts that could be interpreted as a favorable or unfavorable response depending upon the ‘conversation.’ Jonathan’s never been one who writes because the physical act of writing is difficult for him. Imagine my surprise to receive a letter from him! I’m sure it was an assignment, but he’d charmed his way out of classwork before, so he must have wanted to do it. Assignment or not, it was what he wrote that mattered…
Dear Mom and Dad:
I want to thank you for your letters. I know that sometimes I have my rough edges but we always work through them. I just wanted you to know that, believe it or not, I’m proud to be your son and I love you both even if you barely see me. You always encourage me and push me to my goals even though I give up too easy. So to sum up this letter, I just want to say thank you for everything cause I’ll probably never say it out loud.
P.S. I will continue to do my best.
No small talk or unnecessary pleasantries. A touch of humor and straight to the point. Yes, that’s my Jonathan and he loves and appreciates us.
It’s okay if he never says it out loud.
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